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Cablegate: Local Government Reform, Part 2

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

190709Z Sep 03

UNCLAS ABUJA 001629

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINR NI
SUBJECT: LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM, PART 2


REF: ABUJA 1150


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, NOT FOR PUBLICATION ON THE
INTRANET OR INTERNET.


1. (U) The Technical Review Committee on Local Government
Reform has resumed work this week after receiving a new
chairman, Malam Liman Ciroma, former Secretary to the
Government of the Federation (SGF). The Committee's work had
stalled two weeks ago after the death of the Etsu Nupe, a
traditional ruler from Niger State who was the chairman.


2. (SBU) Ciroma's selection was a mild surprise. His brother
is the Ciroman Fika (Emir of Fike in Yobe State). Ciroma is
next in line for that traditional title of Ciroman Fika (Emir
of Fike in Yobe State) currently held by his brother, but has
been retired for many years. Most observers expected a
different traditional ruler to become chairman, either the
Emir of Zaria (Kaduna State) or the Tor-Tiv (Benue State).
Ciroma was SGF during Obasanjo's military administration in
the 1970s. He is a northern Nigerian moderate of some
influence, an Obasanjo supporter (even when that was
unpopular), and a good Embassy contact.


3. (SBU) The Technical Review Committee was formed after a
June 18 Council of State meeting to discuss reform of the
local government tier of governance (reftel). The Committee
was also given the mandate of proposing constitutional
amendments for consideration by a potential National
Conference later this year. Nigeria's elections for the
Local Government Councils are still on hold, and caretaker
committees selected by the governors continue to govern.
There is no indication that the Technical Review Committee
will finish its deliberations by the end of its originally
scheduled 90 days.
MEECE

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